Sep 24, 2018

By Jane Brown

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Toronto Mayor John Tory goes head to head with his main challenger Jennifer Keesmaat in three mayoral debates this week.

Monday’s debate starts at 10am at TIFF Bell Lightbox with a focus on arts and culture. It also features three other Toronto mayoral candidate; Gautam Nath, Jennifer Keesmaat, and Sarah Climenhaga. Then Tuesday afternoon, Global News hosts a mayoral debate. Wednesday evening, candidates face off at the University of Toronto Scarborough campus for a debate focused on transit.

This could be Jennifer Keesmaat’s week to advance her support. The former chief city planner got into the race at the last minute, after Premier Doug Ford announced his plan to reduce Toronto City Council from 47 to 25 wards. Since then she’s been targeting Mayor Tory for failing to stand up to Ford.

“We need a strong mayor,” Keesmaat proclaimed after the Ontario Court of Appeal ruled that Toronto’s election will go ahead with 25 wards,”This is not a normal provincial government, and as a result, a status quo approach is not going to be effective. We need to have strong local democracy in this city, that’s what the residents of this city expect, and strong mayor is required to deliver that.”

The uncertainty over the electoral boundaries had put the election campaign on pause, but now the vote is set for 25 wards on October 22nd.

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